Established 1996


Ritter Expelled from Providence

Providence College 6’3” freshman goaltender Steven Ritter has been expelled from the school for academics, forcing the Friars to bring in their goalie of the future, the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs’ Ryan Simpson, one year ahead of schedule. 

Ritter, a 2005 graduate of Tabor Academy who led the Seawolves to the prep title game as a senior, was a backup to sophomore Tyler Sims this season, appearing in six games (4.04/.867).

A Tenafly, NJ native, Ritter is a 12/31/86 birthdate, so he has a year of junior eligibility left. Look for him in the USHL or EJHL next season. He is likely to do a 4-2-4, meaning that if he successfully took a full load of college courses at a community college, he could transfer somewhere for the ’07-08 season.

Ritter’s expulsion has had a ripple effect, as the Monarchs, who had one of the top goalies in junior hockey in Simpson, are suddenly looking for a #1 for the upcoming season. 


All the EJHL teams will be at this weekend’s EJHL Tournament at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Mass.

The schedule can be found here.

Most of the EJHL teams will consist of a mix of kids who played for the team but are heading off to college this fall, returning players, players who have a spot locked up, and kids competing for spots. The fact that there are kids looking to catch the eyes of the coaches could give the games more of an edge than those seen at most spring tournaments.

Money from the tournament gees back to the league.


The EJHL will host another tournament the first weekend of August. That one goes head-to-head with the Chowder Cup.


Herald Article Highlights Problems With Mass Hockey

An article in the Sunday Boston Herald by Stephen Harris highlighting the dropoff in the quality of Massachusetts hockey -- something that actually started between 10-15 years ago but recently reached a rather obvious nadir -- made for lively discussion around the water cooler today. 

One thing not mentioned in the article is that this is not only happening in Massachusetts. Michigan is facing a similar problem -- and for many of the same reasons found in the Bay State.

Another thing not mentioned is the problem of specialization. Children in increasing numbers -- and at all age levels -- are playing hockey year round now. It's not making them better players, as there is a point of diminishing returns in such an endeavor. The hockey season is too long already. It would be far better if kids hung up the skates in late March and turned to baseball, tennis, lacrosse and other sports. Tennis might not seem like a great sport for a hockey player, but with all the stopping, changes in direction, explosiveness, and hand-eye coordination require, it is actually very useful. Just getting away from the game is good, as it prevents burnout, thus allowing kids to maintain their passion for the game. And you can't play hockey without passion.  

Anyway, there's a lot to think about in the article. The problem isn't any one thing but, rather, an unhappy confluence of forces. Through hard work it can be turned around, but it won't happen overnight.

Herald Article




Thinned-down NAHL Holds Draft

The NAHL, which has seen four teams close up shop in recent weeks, held its draft late this afternoon.

The NAHL, like youth leagues, doesn’t release the order of its draft picks, just names and teams. Yesterday, they announced their teams’ tenders.

All lists can be found on

Yesterday, the Bozeman Icedogs officially went under, and have been granted inactive status by the league. The Bozeman Valley Ice Garden, which has been a constant money loser, will close shortly and become a cold storage warehouse for a local beer distributor.

With the Billings and Helena NAHL franchises closing earlier in the month, Bozeman’s nearest opponent would have been Bismarck, ND, which is quite a hike. That, on top of the rink costs, sealed the Icedogs demise.

The NAHL’s West Division is essentially dead, as only the two Alaska franchises – Fairbanks and Wasilla – remain.

Cleveland is also a dormant franchise. However, the addition of an expansion franchise in Marquette, Michigan will give the league 16 teams – not counting the NTDP – for next season.



USHL To Open Season Later

The USHL will be starting and ending the 2006-07 season later than customary.

Instead of being held in mid-September, the Buc Bowl is scheduled for the weekend of September 28-30 in Des Moines.

The regular season will open on Friday October 6, two weeks later than the season past.

The regular season is scheduled to conclude on April 14, several weeks later than this season. Consequently, if the current playoff format is kept, the playoffs could be extended to as late as May 19, 2007.

"We are having ongoing discussions on the playoff format," said USHL deputy commissioner Bill Bredin. "That won't be finalized until mid-June."

Bredin said the reason for the later start is to lop off a couple of head-to-head challenges with high school and college football. 

The schedule will also feature fewer midweek games, so that students will  miss less class time. Also, gates are better on the weekend.

The late Buc Bowl will make it difficult for Div. I head coaches to make it to Des Moines, as most Div. I colleges -- Ivies excepted -- will be starting practice that weekend. 

The final schedules are expected to be done by mid-June.


Almeida Makes His Choice

Eastern Junior Hockey League Player of the Year Barry Almeida, a 5’9”, 170 lb. forward from the New England Junior Falcons, has committed to Boston College.

Almeida, an excellent skater who can make plays at speed, will be arriving at the Heights in the fall of ’07.

Almeida, a top recruit, was sought after by all of the top schools in Hockey East. He made his final choice from between Boston College, Boston University, Providence, UNH, and Maine.

"I always wanted to play in the Beanpot," Almeida say. "Plus I always loved Boston College. I liked the coaches-- everything. It would have been hard to turn down their offer. "

A native of Springfield, Mass., Almeida is an 11/20/88 birthdate. He played on the U.S. Under-18 Select Team that went to Slovakia and the Czech Republic last August. He also played a handful of games with the NTDP’s Under-18 team over the past winter.

Almeida, who is planning on returning to the Falcons for his senior season, says if there's one thing he needs to work on it's his strength.

"I need to get stronger," he says. "I'll need it for the next level."


In 42 games for the Falcons, Almeida posted a 37-28-65 line.



U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Shuts Doors

The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, whose home since 1972 has been a boxy concrete building along Highway 53 in the Iron Range town of Eveleth, Minn., closed its doors on Friday.

The museum has struggled since its inception. According to the Associated Press, it costs $11,000 a month to operate the Hall of Fame. Executive director Tom Sersha says they get about 10,000 visitors a year, but need 30,000 to make a go of it.

For now, there is no Hall of Fame -- until someone steps up. Two sites have been discussed in recent years – the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and the Mall of America in Bloomington. We’re OK with the former; appalled by the latter.   

A lot of people have always assumed the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame has fared poorly because of its location in Eveleth, though remote locations haven’t hurt other hall of fames (try walking down Main Street in Cooperstown, NY on a summer afternoon).

The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame has struggled for one reason: there is little there. The exhibits center around the obvious – the 1960 and 1980 Olympic victories. You can also study the latest plaques added to the Hall’s walls. Outside of that, there’s not much to hold a visitors' interest. There’s no library, no catalogued archives. There’s little there to draw the serious fan or researcher. And because of that, there’s little reason to make return visits. The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame’s failure to draw in Eveleth is not due to location as much as lack of vision and imagination.

While we think the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame can work no matter where it’s located, we’d favor an urban setting, to improve the odds. After all, cities are where the bulk of Minnesota's population lives. However, there has to be something to get them excited about stepping inside, though, and for that a curator with vision -- and a knowledge of the game – is essential. So, too, is a benefactor -- or benefactors – to get things off the ground.

USA Hockey should lend support, but at a distance. The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame needs to be totally independent.

It appears likely the Hall will stay in Minnesota, mainly because it’s already there -- and needs a home as soon as possible. State Rep Tom Rukavina, a DFL party state rep from nearby Virginia, Minn., has told the AP he wants it kept in Eveleth, the hometown of John Mayasich, Willard Ikola, John Mariucci, John Matchhefts, Mark Pavelich, and others.

Rukavina is looking to the state to help.

"There will never be another community in the state that has contributed to hockey like Eveleth, and I think the state owes that community some money," he said. "We subsidize many sports in this state, including the Wild, Timberwolves, Vikings and Twins. And I think the state of Minnesota owes it to the community to help."



Anthony to Return Home

6’2”, 180 lb. Holderness School freshman forward Steven Anthony will be returning to his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia for next season.

A ’91 who played this past season as a 14-year-old, Anthony is a smooth-skating, highly poised C/LW. In 29 games for Holderness, he posted a 6-16-22 line. 

Right now, he’s the consensus #1 overall pick for the 2007 QMJHL draft, but according to his father, he’s very open to playing in college.

Anthony has already made an unofficial visit to Boston College.

”Coming home,” says his father, Eric, “does not mean he’s closing the door on prep hockey or college hockey.”

“At this point in his life Steven wants to play a full season of hockey -- and Hockey Canada will not allow him to play on a half-season midget team in the U.S.”

This fall, Anthony will play for the highly-regarded Dartmouth Subways midget program.

In addition, Anthony will represent his province in the Canada Games year, which will be held in the Yukon next winter. 

Eric Anthony said his son is open to returning to prep school for the 2007-08 season, at which time he would be a junior.

He also said that his son is a serious baseball player and is aiming to be a two-sport athlete in college. He’s currently on the Holderness varsity, mostly pitching and catching, but playing short and center as well. 


Biega Hanging in There With Harvard

We can’t recall a situation in which a top recruit reached May of his senior year without knowing where he would matriculate in the fall – or even if he would matriculate in the fall.

But that’s the way it’s been for Salisbury defenseman Alex Biega.

The Quebec native has had his sights set on Harvard since he arrived at Salisbury as a junior in the fall of ’04. The older brother of Salisbury coach Dan Donato is Ted Donato, Harvard's coach.

The hangup – the only hangup -- has been SAT scores. The quick-footed defenseman with the quick stick has taken the test multiple times in order to pull them up to Ivy level, but hasn’t quite gotten there.

He took the test last Saturday, though, and the hope is that this time the score brings a smile to the Harvard admissions department, which is well aware of his efforts to get in.

There’s a rush on the SAT scores, so Biega should get them in a couple of weeks. And if he gets the thumbs up, he’ll be at Harvard this fall.

If he doesn’t, he has a ton of options. Some schools, notably BU, have major interest in Biega but no spots for the upcoming year. Ditto for BC -- and others. In those scenarios, Beiga would have to take a year in juniors.

The Omaha Lancers own his rights in the USHL; Biega visited there on the weekend of  March 24-26.

Other schools, like Vermont, which early on in the recruiting process had an offer on the table to Biega but withdrew it after too much time had lapsed, have an offer back on the table – for this fall. Vermont has a number of pluses – good coaches, good hockey town, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Plus it’s the college nearest Biega’s Montreal home.

But Harvard holds the cards for now -- and Biega expects a definitive answer from the school around the end of May.     



Favro to Take D’Alba’s Roster Spot at Brown

Former Choate goaltender Tristan Favro, who played for NY Apple Core (EJHL) this past season, will be attending Brown this fall, becoming one of the Bears three goaltenders.

An '87 from Westfield, NJ, Favro will take the roster spot vacated by sophomore Adam D'Alba, Brown's #1 goalie the past two years.

As we reported earlier, D'Alba will stay on at Brown as a student.

Favro, a 2005 Choate graduate, will compete with current Brown freshman Mark Sibbald and incoming '87 Dan Rosen for time between the pipes. In 32 games for Apple Core, Favro posted a 2.99 GAA and .915 save percentage.         


In last week's USHL draft, Matt Lundin was selected by Sioux Falls fifth overall after the Stampede traded goaltender Alex Kangas to Indiana to acquire the pick.  Lundin, who is departing Maine after his sophomore year, will actually be trading places with the Stampede's other goalie this year -- John Murray, who will arrive in Orono this fall to battle for ice time with the Black Bears #1 netminder, Ben Bishop.   

Murray, a 6'0", 197 lb. '87 from Lancaster, PA, had a breakout year in his second USHL season, posting the league's second best GAA and save percentage.  For the season, Murray finished with a 23-7-1 record, 2.14 GAA and .930 Save Pct.  In the playoffs, Murray put up a stellar 1.86 GAA and .939 Save Pct in eight games for the Clark Cup runner up.



UMass-Lowell's Vetri Calls it Quits

UMass-Lowell’s #1 goalie, Peter Vetri, a sophomore who played 35 games this past season, is leaving the school for, at least as of now, an unknown destination – pro, another college, or neither.

Vetri, who will be 21 in a couple of weeks, has no junior eligibility left. He played in 35 games this season, going 13-20-2 with a 3.58 gaa and a .892 save percentage.

A Windham, NH native who played a year with the Williams Lake Timberwolves (BCHL) after graduating from Lawrence Academy in 2003, had better numbers in his freshman year, playing 25 games and posting a 2.52 gaa and a .912 save percentage.

There was talk this past fall that he wanted to quit hockey -- and there were games in which it looked like he already had. However, in the second half, both he and the team rallied.

In the end, though, he’s still gone. The slack will be picked up by current freshman Vinny Monaco, formerly of Cushing Academy, where he was a backup, and the Tyngsborough Huskies (EJHL); and Nevin Hamilton, who will enter school as a freshman this fall. Hamilton played for the Boston Junior Bruins (EJHL). The Riverhawks will bring in a third goalie by the start of school. Who might that be? “We’re searching,” UMass-Lowell head coach Blaise MacDonald said.

MacDonald was philosophical about Vetri’s departure. “I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason,” he said. “(BU goalie) John Curry and (Patriots QB) Tom Brady give us all a lot of hope.”

“Vinnie Monaco," MacDonald added, "had one start and beat BC, 6-3. The guys loved playing for him.”

As for Vetri, MacDonald said, “Maybe it was the way the year went. I don’t really know. One week he’d be fired up, the next totally different. He was
a complex kid to get a read on.”


Ruth to Fighting Irish

U.S. Under-17 Team RD Teddy Ruth has committed to Notre Dame, choosing the Fighting Irish over Miami-Ohio and Michigan State.

Ruth, who’s 6’0”, 180 lbs. and a 2/14/89 birthdate, was named the most outstanding defenseman at the Under-17 Four Nations Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia in November. He was also team captain.

Ruth finished the season in Ann Arbor with a 3-8-11 line in 66 games played. He had 82 penalty minutes.

A strong puckhandler, and smooth skater and passer, Ruth is from Naperville, Ill., where he played for the Chicago Mission Midget AAA squad. Prior to that, because his father works for Pepsi and was moved around the country a lot, Ruth played for a large number of youth organizationns.

Notre Dame’s first real recruiting class of the Jeff Jackson era is looking pretty strong. Ruth will be joining a class that includes, so far, forwards Ben Ryan (Des Moines – USHL), Billy Maday (TI), and Calle Ridderwall (TI); and two of Ruth’s teammates from Ann Arbor -- defenseman Ian Cole and goaltender Brad Phillips.



WHL Draft

The WHL Bantam Draft – yes, indeed, ’91 birthdates, many of these kids are still 14  – was held last Thurday. Twelve Americans were selected.

They are:

2-22 Chilliwack -- Drew Shore, C, Englewood, CO, 1/29/91
6-106 Chilliwack -- Hudson Stremmel, G, Reno, NV, 7/24/91
7-139 Everett – Ryan White, C, Parker, CO, 3/25/91
10-200 Seattle -- Anthony Hamburg, C,  Phoenix, AZ, 8/30/91
10-209 Calgary -- Chris Brown, C, Flower Mound, TX, 2/3/91
10-210 Medicine Hat -- Eric Coscione, D, Murrieta, CA, 12/5/91
11-219 Portland  -- Dylan Cosford, D, Portland, OR, 1/1/91
11-223 Everett  -- Zach Budish, C, Edina, MN, 5/9/91
11-229 Vancouver -- Joe Adams, D, Orange, CA, 8/16/91
11-230 Calgary -- Tyler Amburgey, D, Rowlett, TX, 5/6/91
12-243 Prince George  -- Kyle Beattie, RW, Avondale, AZ, 5/29/91
12-250 Vancouver  -- J.T. Osborn, LW, Alpine, CA, 3/14/91

The first number denotes the round selected in; the second shows where the player was selected overall.


The WHL wants American players and league scouts will be on hand at an evaluation camp this weekend in Anaheim, CA, home of Mickey Mouse and the Mighty Ducks.

It is the first time the WHL has held an official evaluation camp in California. The 65 top rated Southern California prospects – mostly off the LA Selects, LA Hockey Club, and California Wave – in the 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1992 age groups will be evaluated. 

Yes, that’s right: 1992s. Some of those players will be 13 years old.

Brian Burke, Executive VP  and GM of the Mighty Ducks, co-owner of the expansion WHL franchise in Chilliwack, Providence College history major, and Harvard Law School grad (’81) has put his imprimatur on this.

“The Ducks are excited to be a part of the WHL’s first-ever evaluation camp in California,” Burke said. “It’s a great opportunity for Southern California players to showcase their skills and get an opportunity in the WHL.” 

NCAA hockey may have helped get Burke where he is today, but it looks like it’s show me the money time now.


5/9/06 Updated

 Bogosian Top Yank in OHL Draft

Cushing Academy defenseman Zach Bogosian, a native of Massena, NY, was the top U.S. player selected in Saturday’s OHL draft, being taken 19th, the penultimate pick of the first round.

This was a thin draft for U.S. players. The 41 players selected were eight fewer than last year. There were significantly fewer high end players as well.

Last year, nine U.S. players were selected in the top three rounds; this year there is six. Last year, there were 28 players selected in the top nine rounds. This year that number is 21. 

These numbers can be taken with a grain of salt because major junior drafts are notoriously cooked, and not always much of an indicator of a player’s real value. Number 20 overall pick Phil McRae certainly would have gone around #5 overall, but it was obvious he was only going to leave the US to play for one clue – London, the club that drafted him.

6'0" LC Corey Trivino, a top prospect from the Toronto Marlboros Midget Minors, would have been a first round prospect, but, because of his NCAA interest, dropped all the way to the fifth round, where he was selected by Barrie. 

5'10" RC Cody Hodgson, a highly rated player from the Markham Waxers Midget Major squad who some said could have gone #1 overall were it not for the possibility that he might opt for the college route, was taken with the 17th pick of the first round by Brampton.  

We didn't put 5'8", 150 lb. LC Vern Cooper on the list below. Cooper, who played midget hockey in Sudbury -- he can really fly -- has first nation status and can play for either the US or Canada, which is why he was at the March NTDP evaluation camp. Given the choice between the two countries, his allegiance is definitely toward Canada. Cooper is a Waswanipi Cree from Quebec. A 12/30/90 birthdate, he was the youngest player selected in the draft. Plymouth Whaler fans will enjoy watching him  -- he's an exciting, explosive player. 

U.S. Players

1-19 Peterborough -- Zach Bogosian, RD, Cushing Academy, 6’1/175, 7/15/90
1-20 London -- Philip McRae, LC, US Under-17, 6’0/175, 3/15/90
2-7 Windsor -- Thomas Battani, RW, Petrolia Jr. B, 6'1/190, 10/25/89 
2-15 Guelph -- Patrick Moran, RD, Honeybaked 90's, 5’11/170, 5/18/90
3-9 Barrie -- Brian Lashoff, LD, Albany Academy, 6’2/180, 7/16/90
3-17 Brampton -- Matt Zarbo, LC, Boston Junior Bruins, 6’0/160, 5/7/90
4-5 Mississauga -- Barry Sanderson, RC, Honeybaked Midgets, 5’8/165, 4/22/90
4-20 London -- Kevin Bodker, RD, Dubuque Thunderbirds, 6’0/180, 4/4/90
5-13 Plymouth -- Chad Rutkowski, LC, Honeybaked 90's, 6’2/178, 3/2/90
6-2 Oshawa -- Robert Czarnik, RW, Honeybaked 90's, 5’11/170, 1/25/90
7-3 Windsor -- Ryan Baratono, LW, Compuware 90's, 5’11/190, 5/12/90
7-5 Sault Ste. Marie -- Jordan Tibbet, G, Honeybaked 90's, 6’0/165, 1/6/90
7-8 Guelph -- Joe Underwood, RD, Compuware 90's, 6’1/170, 1/15/90
7-11 Sudbury -- Justin Florek, LW, Marquette Electricians, 6'3/175, 5/18/90
7-12 Plymouth -- AJ Jenks, LC, Honeybaked Midgets, 6’1/170, 6/27/90
7-20 London -- Tony DeHart, RD, St. Louis Midgets, 5’11/165, 3/20/90
8-8 Owen Sound -- Jesse Brown, RW, Syracuse Stars Jr. B, 6’2/185, 6/19/90
8-11 Sudbury -- Christopher Heineman, RD, Honeybaked 90's, 5’10/165, 1/9/90
8-13 Plymouth -- Kevin McCarey, LW, Syracuse Stars, 5’11/155, 3/24/90
9-12 Saginaw -- Adam Comrie, LD, Montgomery Blue Devils U16's, 6’0/175, 7/31/90
9-20 London -- Michael Dipuma, LW, Chicago Mission U16's, 6’1/175, 3/8/90
10-3 Sault Ste. Marie -- Jeffery Larson, G, St. Louis Blues U-16's, 6’2/150, 9/2/90
10-4 Erie -- Shawn Szydlowski, RC, Belle Tire 90's, 6’0/190, 8/5/90
10-13 Brampton -- Mike Clemente, G, Washington Little Capitals, 6’1/175, 1/9/90
11-5 Sault Ste. Marie -- Patrick Sheehan, RD, St. Louis Jr. Blues, 5’7/150, 8/14/90
11-19 Peterborough -- Jack Walchessen, RW,  NJ Titans Jr. B, 5’10/175, 4/11/90
11- 20 Peterborough -- Nicholas Passantino, RC, NJ Devils U16's, 5’11/160, 8/7/90
12-4 Erie -- Robert Shea, LD, Honeybaked 90's, 5’10/170, 9/20/90
12-11 Sudbury -- Greg Thocker, LD, Capital Center Pride, 6'1/175, 3/6/90
12-15 Guelph -- Cody Rosen, G, Loomis-Chaffee JV, 5’8/155, 9/27/90
13-3 Mississauga -- Jacob Johnstone, RC, Capital Center Pride U-16s, 5'10/170
13-12 Saginaw -- Zachary Lewis, RC, Wisconsin AAA, 6’0/195, 5/5/90
13-18 Kitchener -- Dylan Robichaud, RD, Albany Academy, 6’1/200, 1/2/90
14-7 Owen Sound -- Max Cook, RC, Chicago Mission Maj. Mid., 6’2/150, 6/3/90
14-13 Plymouth -- Joshua Bemis, LD, Victory Honda, 6’0/175, 11/3/90
14-16 Saginaw -- Ian O'Brien, G, Pittsburgh Penguins 90s, 6’1/140, 8/29/90
14-17 Sudbury -- Garrett Beckwith, G, NJ Devils U16's, 6’0/150, 1/4/90
14-20 London -- Max Barron, RW, St. Louis Jr. Blues, 5’9/180, 1/3/90
15-12 Saginaw -- Ross Henry, RD, Team Illinois, 5’11/175, 7/2/90
15-13 Plymouth -- Ryan Grimshaw, RD, Salisbury School, 6’0/170, 1/28/90
15-15 Guelph -- Matt Margitan, G, Honeybaked Midget, 5’9/145, 4/1/90
15-16 Barrie -- Steven Spinell, RD, Team Illinois U-16's, 5’11/170, 9/9/90



Complete USHL Draft Results

Here it is, 19 rounds worth. 

Round 1

1. Chicago -- Richard Bachman, G, Cushing Academy
2. Waterloo -- Bill Maday, F, Chicago Chill
3. Sioux City -- Matt White, F, LA Jr. Kings
4. Columbus -- Toby Heaslip, D, New Jersey Hitmen (EJHL)
# Sioux Falls trades Alex Kangas and first pick in sixth round to Indiana forBrad Malone and first-round pick (5th overall)
5. Sioux Falls -- Matt Lundin, G, University of Maine -- from Indiana
6. Green Bay -- Derrick LaPoint, D, Eau Claire (Wis.) HS
7. Indiana -- Eric Kattelus, F, Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL) -- from Tri-City
8. Des Moines -- Kyle Bailey, F, Bozeman Icedogs (NAHL)
# Green Bay trades Mark Armstrong to Sioux City for Justin Cseter
9. Omaha -- Dennis Urban, D, Mahoning Valley Phantoms (NAHL)
# Sioux City trades Kyle Follmer to Waterloo for Joe Sova
10. Lincoln -- Matt Bartkowski, D, Pittsburgh Predators
# Waterloo trades Kyle Follmer to Columbus  for 4th round pick
11. Indiana -- Brent Gwidt, F, Team Wisconsin -- from Cedar Rapids
12. Sioux Falls -- Zach Hansen, D, White Bear Lake HS

Round 2

13. Chicago -- Rob Madore, G, Pittsburgh Hornets
14. Tri-City -- Bryce Christianson, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL) – from Waterloo
15. Sioux City -- Alex Stuart, D, Shattuck-St. Mary's
16. Columbus -- Nolan Ryan, D, Chicago Chill (MAHL)
17. Indiana -- Eddie Levens, D, Chicago Chill (MAHL) 
18. Green Bay -- Austin Mayer, F,Walpole Stars (EJHL) 
19. Tri-City -- Calle Ridderwell, F, Chicago Chill (MAHL)
20. Des Moines -- Troy Mattila, F, Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL)
21. Omaha -- Zach MacVoy, F, University of Michigan (CCHA)
22. Lincoln -- Zach Hitch, F, Brighton (Mich.) HS
23. Cedar Rapids -- David Grun, F, White Bear Lake (Minn.) HS
24. Sioux Falls -- Chris Huxley, D, Noble & Greenough 

Round 3

25. Omaha -- Andy Taranto, F, Chicago Chill (MAHL) – from Chicago
26. Waterloo -- Tim Krystosek, G, Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL) 
27. Sioux City -- Matt Crandell, D, St. Cloud (MN) Cathedral 
28. Columbus -- Danny Hobbs, F, Stanstead College Prep 
29. Indiana -- Michael DelMauro, F, Deerfield Academy 
30. Green Bay -- Derek Kohles, F, Russell Stover Midgets
31. Tri-City -- Kyle Ensign, D, New Richmond (Wis.) HS
32. Des Moines -- Ryan Kretzer, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues (CSHL)
33. Omaha -- Nick Larson, F, Hill Murray (Minn.) HS
34. Lincoln -- Kyle O'Kane, F, Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL)
35. Cedar Rapids -- Mike Seidel, F, Chicago Chill (MAHL) 
36. Waterloo -- Brian Cramer, F, Fargo-Moorhead Jets (NAHL) – from Sioux Falls

Round 4

37. Chicago -- Mitch Carlson, D, St. Louis Park (Minn.) HS
38. Waterloo -- Jon Madden, D, Traverse City North Stars (NAHL)
39. Des Moines -- Tim Buttery, D, Detroit Catholic HS – from Sioux City
40. Waterloo -- Corson Cramer, G, Pikes Peak (Colo.) Miners -- from Columbus
41. Indiana -- Mike Gurtler, F, Georgetown Raiders (OPJHL) 
42. Indiana -- Robert Martini, D, St. Andrews College (Quebec) – from Green Bay
43. Tri-City -- Dan Markowitz, D, New York Bobcats (AJHL)
44. Des Moines -- Travis Paeth, F, Traverse City North Stars (NAHL)
45. Omaha -- Travis Novak, F, Canmore Eagles (AJHL)
46. Lincoln -- Rick Carden, F, Team Illinois
47. Cedar Rapids -- Aaron Bogosian, F, Cushing Academy 
48. Sioux Falls -- Joe Miller, F, Wayzata (Minn.) HS

Round 5

49. Chicago -- Patrick Gaul, F, Pittsburgh Hornets
50. Omaha -- Jack Downing, F, Taft – from Waterloo
51. Sioux City -- Tyler Pederson, D, St. Louis Park (Minn.) HS
52. Columbus -- Sean McCauley, F, Texas Tornado (NAHL)
53. Indiana -- Michael Forney, F, Thief River Falls (Minn.) HS
54. Green Bay -- Andy Dittus, F, Minot (N.D.) HS
55. Tri-City -- Nick Oslund, F, Burnsville (Minn.) HS
56. Des Moines -- Will Acton, F, Stouffville (OPJHL)
57. Omaha -- Will O'Neill, D, Tabor Academy
58. Lincoln -- Anthony Principato, F, New Jersey Hitmen (EJHL)
59. Tri-City -- Andrew Sackrison, F, St. Louis Park (Minn.) HS -- from Waterloo
60. Sioux Falls -- Jay Clark, G, North Iowa Outlaws (NAHL)

Round 6

61. Indiana -- Robby Phillop, F, Thief River Falls (Minn.) HS – from Chicago
62. Waterloo -- Josh Turnbull, F, Duluth-East (Minn.) HS
63. Sioux City -- Eddie Olczyk, F, Pittsburgh Predators
64. Columbus -- Kris Massaro, D, Shady Side Academy 
65. Indiana -- Brian Arrigoni, F, Hill Murray (Minn.) HS
66. Green Bay -- Baylor Dieter, D, Bloomington-Jefferson (Minn.) HS 
67. Tri-City -- Josh Bergren, F, Centennial (Minn.) HS
Des Moines - PASS 
Omaha - PASS
68. Lincoln -- Ryan Ruikka, D, Chelsea (Mich.) HS
69. Cedar Rapids -- Matt Tomassoni, D, Chicago Mission
70. Sioux Falls -- Sam Zabkowicz, D, Texarkana Bandits (NAHL)

Round 7

71. Waterloo -- Ian Ruel, D, Victory Honda 
72. Sioux City -- Nick Curry, F, Quad City Express (CSHL)
73. Columbus -- Andrew Hamburg, F, Dallas Stars Major Midget
Indiana - PASS 
74. Green Bay -- Patrick Leonard, F, Compuware AAA
75. Tri-City -- Jordan Van Guilder, F, Centennial (Minn.) HS
Green Bay - PASS
Lincoln - PASS
76. Cedar Rapids -- Tyler Keiffer, D, Stillwater (Minn.) HS
77. Sioux Falls -- Matt McCollem, F, Belmont Hill 

Round 8

78. Chicago -- Asher Hirshberg, F, Syracuse Jr. Stars (EJHL)
79. Waterloo -- Randy Swank, D, Team Illinois
Sioux City - PASS 
80. Columbus -- James Gallagher, F, Marquette Electricians
Indiana - PASS  
81. Green Bay -- Tyler Jundt, D, Williston (N.D.) HS
Tri-City - PASS  
82. Green Bay -- John Morea, F, New Jersey Hitmen (EJHL) – from Des Moines 
83. Green Bay -- Beau Christian, G, Team Illinois – from Omaha
Lincoln - PASS 
84. Cedar Rapids -- Rob Bordson, F, Duluth-Marshall (Minn.) HS
85. Sioux Falls -- Trevor Doden, F, Red Wing (Minn.) HS

Round 9

86. Chicago -- Ben Miller, F, Belle Tire Midgets
87. Waterloo -- Jan Mikael Juutilainen, F, Jokerit (Finland)
Sioux City - PASS 
88. Columbus -- Jason Simota, F, Mohoning Valley Phantoms (NAHL)
Indiana - PASS 
Green Bay - PASS 
Tri-City - PASS 
Des Moines - PASS 
Omaha - PASS 
Lincoln - PASS  
89. Cedar Rapids -- Dan Sexton, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats (NAHL)
90. Sioux Falls -- Trevor Nill, F, Compuware Midget AAA

Round 10

91. Chicago -- Chris Connoly, F, Fargo-Moorhead Jets (NAHL)
92. Waterloo -- Paul Weisgarber, F, Fargo-Moorhead Jets (NAHL)
Sioux City - PASS 
93. Columbus -- John Ryder, D, Pikes Peak (Colo.) Miners 
94. Chicago -- Michael Walsh, D, Team Illinois – from Indiana
Green Bay - PASS 
Tri-City - PASS 
Des Moines - PASS 
Omaha - PASS 
Lincoln - PASS 
95. Cedar Rapids -- Steven Sperry, F, US NTDP
Sioux Falls - PASS 

Round 11

Chicago - PASS 
Waterloo - PASS 
Sioux City - PASS 
96. Columbus -- Nate Hennig, F, Santa Fe Roadrunners (NAHL)
Indiana - PASS 
Green Bay - PASS 
Tri-City - PASS 
Des Moines - PASS 
Omaha - PASS 
Lincoln - PASS 
Cedar Rapids - PASS 
Sioux Falls - PASS 

Round 12

Chicago - PASS -
Waterloo - PASS 
Sioux City - PASS 
97. Columbus -- Ryan Fuller, F, Texas Tornado
Indiana - PASS 
Green Bay - PASS 
Tri-City - PASS 
Des Moines - PASS 
Omaha - PASS 
Lincoln - PASS 
Cedar Rapids - PASS 
Sioux Falls - PASS 

Round 13

98. Chicago -- Dan Otto, F, Team Illinois
99. Waterloo -- Matt LaBombard, F, Bloomington-Jefferson (Minn.) HS
100. Sioux City -- Matt Beggs, F, Apple Valley (Minn.) HS
101. Columbus -- Zach Henry, F, Team Illinois
102. Indiana -- Matt Smith, D, Indiana Jr. Ice
103. Green Bay -- Bryant Skarda, F, Hill Murray (Minn.) HS 
104. Tri-City -- Aaron Marvin, F, Warroad (Minn.) HS 
105. Des Moines -- Jimmy Martin, D, Team Illinois 
106. Omaha -- Mike Jarboe, G,Bozeman Icedogs (NAHL) 
107. Lincoln -- Jason Gregoire, F, Winnipeg South Blues (MJHL) 
108. Cedar Rapids -- Zach Bogosian, D, Cushing Academy 
109. Sioux Falls -- David Solway, F, Santa Fe Roadrunners (NAHL)

Round 14

110. Chicago -- Ben Rosen, D, Boston Jr. Bruins (EJHL)
111. Waterloo -- Furman South, F, Pittsburgh Hornets
112. Sioux City -- Brad Reck, F, Victory Honda 
113. Columbus -- Tyler Bownman, D, Belle Tire Midget 
114. Indiana -- Brett Peterson, F, Elk River (Minn.) HS 
115. Green Bay -- Ryan Hill, D, Hermantown (Minn.) HS 
116. Tri-City -- Chris Hickey, F, Cretin (Minn.) HS 
117. Des Moines -- Colin Haas, F, Dallas Stars Midgets 
118. Omaha -- Andrew Conboy, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats (NAHL) 
119. Lincoln -- Linus Klasen, F, Huddenge Junior (Sweden) 
120. Cedar Rapids -- Mike Mosher, G, LA Jr. Kings 
121. Sioux Falls -- Chris Francis, F, Las Vegas Midget AAA

Round 15

122. Chicago -- Brian Schack, D, Southern Minnesota Express (NAHL)
123. Waterloo -- Josh Bemis, D, Victory Honda Midgets 
124. Sioux City -- Ryan Miniaci, D, Canterbury Prep 
125. Columbus -- Charles Brockett, F, Cleveland Barons Midget 
126. Indiana -- Jared Smith, D, Grand Rapids (Minn.) HS 
127. Green Bay -- Colin Quinn, D, Boston Harbor Wolves (EJHL) 
128. Tri-City -- Peter Child, D, St. Paul's School
129. Des Moines -- Derek Elliott, F, North Iowa Outlaws (NAHL) 
130. Omaha -- Hunter Bishop, F, Vernon Vipers (BCHL) 
131. Lincoln -- John Morrow, G, Alpena Icediggers (NAHL) 
132. Cedar Rapids -- Casey Wellman, F, Cranbrook (Calif.) HS 
133. Sioux Falls -- Joe Smith, F, Phillips Andover Academy

Round 16

134. Chicago -- Chris Dyer, F, Honeybaked Midgets 
135. Waterloo -- Jeff Carlson, D, Southern Minnesota Express (NAHL) 
136. Sioux City -- Stefan Shivley, G, Cleveland Barons Midgets 
137. Columbus -- Adam Comrie, D, Montgomery Blue Devils (EEAHL) 
138. Indiana -- Paul Carey, F, Salisbury School 
139. Green Bay -- Nolan Craner, F, Alpena Icediggers (NAHL) 
140. Tri-City -- Ryan Peltoma, D, Brainerd (Minn.) HS 
141. Des Moines -- Josh Fodor, F, Pittsburgh Aviators AAA 
142. Omaha -- John Murray, G, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) 
143. Lincoln -- Ross Henry, D, Team Illinois 
144. Cedar Rapids -- Jeff Ceccacci, D, Victory Honda Midgets
145. Sioux Falls -- Kent Whittman, D, Dallas Stars Midgets

Round 17

146. Chicago -- Max Cook, F, Chicago Mission 
147. Waterloo -- John Lee, D, Moorhead (Minn.) HS 
148. Sioux City -- Joe Brock, F, Shattuck-St. Mary's 
149. Columbus -- Ian Keserich, G, Ohio State University (CCHA) 
150. Indiana -- Jake Skjodt, F, Indiana Jr. Ice 
151. Green Bay -- Josh Levine, F, Bloomington-Jefferson (Minn.) HS 
152. Tri-City -- Brandon Martell, D, Elk River (Minn.) HS 
153. Des Moines -- Troy Power, F, California Wave U-16 
154. Omaha -- Aaron Schmit, D, Culver Academy 
155. Lincoln -- Travis Erstad, F, Stevens Point (Wis.) HS 
156. Cedar Rapids -- Scott Halpern, F, Bay State Breakers (EJHL) 
157. Sioux Falls -- Ryan Guentzel, F, Southern Minnesota Express (NAHL)

Round 18

158. Chicago -- Steve Jensen, D, Bridgewater Bears 
159. Waterloo -- Chris Forfar, F, Chicago Chill 
160. Sioux City -- Jake Bergquist, F, Detroit Lakes (Minn.) HS 
161. Columbus -- Mike DeGrazia, F, Santa Fe Roadrunners (NAHL) 
162. Indiana -- John Muse, G, Noble & Greenough 
163. Green Bay -- Kevin Quick, D, Salisbury School 
164. Tri-City -- Barry Sanderson, F, Honeybaked Major Midget 
165. Des Moines -- Books DeZellar, F, Academy of Holy Angels (Minn.)
166. Omaha -- Colby Cohen, D, USA Hockey NTDP 
167. Lincoln -- Steve Schultz, F, New York Bobcats (AJHL) 
168. Cedar Rapids -- Pat Nagle, G, Belle Tire Midgets 
169. Sioux Falls -- Derek Grogan, D, Eagan (Minn.) HS

Round 19

170. Chicago -- Chris Spicer, F, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) 
171. Waterloo -- Blake Page, F, Helena Bighorns (NAHL)
172. Sioux City -- Brian Downing, D, Duluth-East (Minn.) HS
173. Columbus -- Vinnie Bradley, N/A, Little Caesars Midgets 
174. Indiana -- Karl Ramolla, F, Collingwood Blues (OPJHL) 
175. Green Bay -- Ryan Leary, F, Valley Jr. Warriors (EJHL) 
176. Tri-City -- Bryan Brutlag, D, Academy of Holy Angels (Minn.) 
177. Des Moines -- Matt DiGirolamo, G, Texas Tornado (NAHL) 
178. Omaha -- Jonathan Meyers, F, Eden Prairie (Minn.) HS 
179. Lincoln -- Mark Johnson, D, Bloomington-Kennedy (Minn.) HS 
180. Cedar Rapids -- Scott Mathis, D, Team Illinois 
181. Sioux Falls -- Mike Vitale, F, Chicago Chill

Chicago: Add Brent Cornelius – D, Tri-City Storm (USHL)
Lincoln: Add Keith Seabrooke - D, Burnaby (BCJHL)
Cedar Rapids: Add Pat Cannone – F, New England Jr. Falcons (EJHL)


OHL Rumblings

With the OHL draft less than 24 hours away, you can be sure there is heavy pressure being put on certain high-end kids. You can also be sure that there’s some serious behind-the-scenes dealmaking going on.

Here are some of the things being talked about. We believe some will come to pass, some won’t, and we’ll have at least some answers by Saturday night.

-- We’ve received highly credible reports that Dave Gagner is being heavily pursued by the London Knights, who have made the former NHLer a lucrative offer to come on board as an assistant coach. While Gagner, who moved his family from Toronto to Minnesota a year ago and has a thriving business, Custom Ice, the rink building company he co-founded about six years ago, we have heard from people in Ontario and elsewhere that he would really like to seriously get into coaching. His credentials are strong. Observers who spent time watching his high-flying Toronto Marlies Midget Minor team of two seasons ago, which featured his son, Sam Gagner, John Tavares, Cody Goloubef, Brendan Smith, and Justin Vaive, report being extremely impressed with the job he did, noting that he cared about the development of each and every kid, and did a tremendous job.  

If Dave Gagner is hired by London  -- and he’s been seen at a handful of games up there -- it could be a successful parlay for the Knights, as Gagner’s son, a Wisconsin recruit and 2005 London draft pick who played for the Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) this season, has an upside similar to the old man, who was a first round pick in the 1983 NHL draft. London, which won the Memorial Cup last season and tonight will be facing off against Peterborough in game #1 of the OHL championship series, would like very much to see the younger Gagner in a London Knights uniform next season. And they have the resources to make it happen. 

However, with this scenario, there’s one thing that holds us back. Dave Gagner, who earned a degree at the University of Western Ontario during the offseason while he was playing pro, has been an advocate for the college game. As a guest speaker at the USHL all-star game banquet in February, it was the topic he chose to speak on.

So, the way we see it is this: Sam Gagner could forego college and sign with the London Knights or he could continue on the path to college.

As an 11th grader with a year in front of him, he’s expected back with Sioux City, but has been noncommittal about returning there, which indicates the family could be waiting to see how things play out in London. There's also the possibility they could be forcing a trade to another USHL club.

The expansion Columbus Jr. Blue Jackets perhaps?

Columbus has yet to name a coach. If Jack Fritsche was going to be carried over from the Barons, you’d think they would have already named him, right? What if Columbus hires Gagner as head coach and Sam Gagner is then traded there to play for his father? It’s not far-fetched.

We asked Columbus owner Tom Goebel if Gagner was a candidate for the Columbus coaching position. “Not that I know of at this time,” Goebel said. “I have never talked to him.” 

--- The rumours that have been shooting around Ontario that include Gagner father and son going to London also have expanded to include Smith and Goloubef reneging on their Wisconsin commitments and heading to the O, with London working out a trade with the teams that currently hold the rights to those two --  St. Mike’s and Sarnia, respectively.

We’ve also heard that the family advisors -- and families -- of Smith and Goloubef are incensed at being mentioned in connection with any flight to the OHL. Their stance is that the two boys made their decision and that’s it.

-- Pat Kane, as everyone knows, is being actively recruited by London as well. We believe it's likely that Kane will take the OHL route. The high-scoring NTDP forward was picked up by Knights co-owner/VP/GM Mark Hunter in Ann Arbor and driven up to London for last Friday’s series clinching win over Guelph. Kane’s mother drove up from Buffalo to meet up with them at the game. 

Kane, who’s in the 11th grade, is a late ’88 and has another year of school left. He could stay with the NTDP but give up his eligibility for the World Under-18s – that seems out of the question. He could go to the USHL -- Omaha has his rights -- and likely will if he chooses the college route. Or he could go to the OHL, where, as a player inching his way up toward the first round for the 2007 NHL draft, he’d command a hefty chunk of change.
Kane, meanwhile has told Boston University, which appears to be the only school he’s seriously considering, that he’s undecided about his plans for next year, but will be in Terrierville for his official visit in a couple of weeks. Boston’s a nice town in May. Hopefully, he’ll be swayed.

--  Then there’s Phillip McRae, who played this season as an underager with the U.S. Under-17 Team and goes into the OHL draft as a potential top five pick.

There’s an impediment, though, for any team that takes McRae in the top five. His father, ex NHL-er Basil McRae, is a minority owner of the London Knights.

But London doesn’t get to pick until the twentieth slot. Some team might draft McRae before then -- if they were so bold as to take on the risk that entails -- or simply let McRae slide to London. And the Knights may not even have to use their first round pick for him. McRae could always go back to the National Program, in which case London could pick him in a later round. If somebody else picks him the Knights can always wait until the following year, and make a deal for him. Or McRae could spend the next two years at the NTDP and follow the NCAA route. He has options galore, but we see him in London either this fall or a year from now. 

Of course, if some other team were to draft him tomorrow, McRae could always return to the National Program, and go to the O the following year. Or he could spend the next two years at the national program and take the NCAA route. 

-- Omaha’s Nick Petrecki, a Boston College recruit expected to go high in the first round of the 2007 NHL draft, has been the center of a lot of rumors as well. The Plymouth Whalers own his rights, but one scenario being bandied about has Petrecki winding up in Kitchener, with Plymouth getting a compensatory pick. Petrecki is advised by the Bobby Orr Group, who also represent Matt Lashoff, who, like Petrecki, is from the Albany, NY area.

Speaking of Plymouth, Team Illinois goaltender Kyle Jendra, who would have been a high pick in yesterday’s USHL draft, signed earlier this week with the Whalers.

-- Saginaw is taking a big run at Michigan recruit Tristin Llewellyn, an ’89 defenseman with Tri-City who just finished his second season in the USHL. Llewellyn did not have a great year, as his skating isn’t coming along as well as had been hoped, but he’s still a strong prospect.

-- And what about tomorrow’s OHL draft? Well, it begins at 9:00 am and can be followed live at

The first pick goes to Sarnia and they are expected to take forward Steven Stamkos from the Markham Waxers. Picking second is Oshawa, and the Generals are expected to go for D Michael Del Zotto, also from Markham. Third up is Mississauga and they are expected to go for defenseman Alex Pietrangelo of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens.

After that, it gets tricky. Erie goes next, and we’re hearing that, due to the increasing difficulty involved in going back and forth across the US-Canadian border, the families of some top prospects from Ontario are less than thrilled with the idea of committing their kids to playing for the Otters.  That’s the word, anyway.

There are two high-end prospects whose interest in the NCAA route could knock them down, possibly right out of the first round.

We’re talking, of course, about Cory Hodgson, a forward with the Markham Waxers Midget AAA squad; and Corey Trevino, a forward from the Toronto Marlboros. Hopefully, we’ll see them in college in the not-too-distant future.



USHL Protected List

USHL teams did a very good job selecting players in last August’s Futures Draft, which means that a lot of the top players – David Fisher, Ryan Lowery, Kyle Medvec, CarterCamper, et al – have been pre-selected. That means relatively few slots remain for players who are drafted today -- and even fewer for the kids who come out of left field and make teams in tryout camps. Basically, it’s a tough league to break into.

Anyway, the list below should serve as a reference point for what happens in today’s USHL draft, which starts at 9 am CST.

One major difference this year revolves around import players. In recent years, the USHL has allowed two imports per team, the one stipulation being that imports had to be skaters – no goalies allowed. That’s changed this year. Each team is still allowed two imports, but they can be at any position. If they wish, a team could even have two import goalies.

Cedar Rapids Roughriders(15):

Returning Players (12): Dan Barczuk, Jake Cepis, Dustin Cloutier, Brett Dickinson, Sean Dolan, Sergei Kolosov, Pat McGann, Andy Miele, Ian Slater, Evan Stephens, Kevin Wehers, Scott Wietecha.

Futures Draft (3): Greg Squires (NTDP), Colin Trachsel (Duluth East), Tommy Wingels (Team Illinois).

Chicago Steel (15):

Returning Players (10): Ben Beaudoin, Mike Embach, Matthew Godlewski, Mike Janda, Brian Keane, Scott Kozlak, Dan Lawson, Justin Maciuk, Daniel Ryan, Luka Vidmar.

Futures Draft (5): Kyle Greco (CYA), Barry Almeida (NE Jr. Falcons), Dan Durham, Jeremy Beller (Lake of the Woods HS), Mike Dalhuisen (Oakville Jr. A).

Columbus Jr. Blue Jackets (11):

Protected Players from Cleveland Barons (7): Trent Bonnett, Patrick Goebel, Bobby Jarosz, John Kennedy, Clark MacLean, Chris Reed, Eric Rex.

Tenders (4): Daniel Dries (Victory Honda Midget Major), Timothy Hall (Pittsburgh Hornets Under-16), Joel Lundstrom (Pikes Peak Miners Midget Major), Andrew Palmisano (Victory Honda Midget Major).

Des Moines Buccaneers (17):

Returning Players (12): Michael Dorr, Donnie Hallmark, Rob Johnson, Andrew Krelove, Andrew Olson, Aaron Palushaj, Jeff Petry, Rich Purslow, Bobby Reiners, Ben Ryan, Shane Sims, Ben Van Lare.

Futures Draft (5); Kevin Mole (Brampton Capitals Jr. A), Bryan Mountain (Milton Academy), Ryan Simpson (NH Junior Monarchs), Brian Volpei (Shattuck-St. Mary’s), Ben Youds (Shattuck-St. Mary’s).

Green Bay Gamblers (14):

Returning Players (10): Mark Armstrong, Kurt Davis, Bryan Haczyk, Ryan Little, Steve Silva, Mike Sislo, Sergio Somma, Max Strang, Nick Tabisz, Shea Walters.

Futures Draft (4): Nick Canzanello (Rochester Mayo HS), Andy Inderieden (Breck), Nick Jaskowiak (Salisbury), Ryan Santana (Team Illinois).

Indiana Ice (14):

Returning Players (10): Cody Reichard, Ryan Scott, Mike Phillippi, Nick Bailen, Eric Olimb, John Kemp, Mike Hull, Ron Cramer, Nathan Lawrence, Lukas Klimek.

Futures Draft (4): Joe Whitney (Lawrence Academy), Brad Malone (Cushing Academy), Tony Mosey (NTDP), Jimmy Hayes (Noble & Greenough).

Lincoln Stars (17):

Returning Players (12): Danny Baco, Brett Bandazian, Brandon Bollig, Josh Brodeen, Jared Brown, Trevor Bruess, Kyle Hardwick, Brian Hogan, Mike Kramer, Chad Langlais, Erick Galt, Chris Stansik.

Futures Draft (5): Ryan Lowery (Team Illinois), Carter Camper (Cleveland Barons), Kyle Turis (Burnaby Jr. A), Matt Quigley (Mahoning Valley), Tony Yearego (Sarnia).

Omaha Lancers (16):

Returning Players (11): Cory Toy, Nick Petrecki, Patrick Shafer, Matt Thurber, Brett Bruneteau, Ryan Raven, Jake Marto, Matt Moulakelis, Robby Dee, Mark Olver, Harrison Niemann.

Futures Draft (5): Patrick Kane (NTDP), Tom Serratore (Colorado Thunderbirds), Tyler Ruegsegger (Shattuck-St. Mary’s), Alex Biega (Salisbury), Austin Lee (Bloomington Jefferson HS).

Sioux City Musketeers (17):

Returning Players (13): Phil DeSimone, Blake Martin, Dustin Gazley, Sam Gagner, Andrew Rowe, Anthony Maiani, Kyle Follmer, Kevin Lohry, Frank Grzeszczak, Sean Coffey, Mike Beck, Jerry Kuhn, Justin Cseter.

Futures Draft (4): Kyle Medvec (Apple Valley HS), Alex Tuckerman (North Iowa), Travis Oleksuk (Thunder Bay Midget Major), Max Pacioretty (Taft).

Sioux Falls Stampede (14):

Returning Players (11): Jay Barriball, Jake Bauer, Channing Boe, Nick Dineen, Jake Drewiske, Drew Fisher, Jared Hummel, Alex Kangas, Chris Meyers, Patrick Tiesling, Corey Tropp.

Futures Draft (3): Doug Leaverton (Mahoning Valley), Taylor Matson (Holy Angels HS), Zach Redmond (Sioux Falls).

Tri-City Storm (15):

Returning Players (10): Matt Ambroz, Greg Battani, David Brownschidle, Cameron Cooper, Mario Lamoureaux, Tristen Llewellyn, Mike Pilot, Aaron Rock, Sean Wiles, Jordan Willert.

Futures Draft (5): David Fisher (Apple Valley HS), Patrick White (Grand Rapids HS), Ryan Carroll (Tabor Academy), Jesse Martin (Spruce Grove Jr. A), Brett Wysopal (Chicago Chill).

Waterloo Black Hawks (14):

Returning Players (10): Matt Arhontas, Andy Bohmbach, Mike Borisenok, Tim Gilbert, Vincent LoVerde, James Marcou, Kyle Reeds, Pasko Skarica, Joe Sova, Isak Tranvik.

Futures Draft (4) Cody Goloubef (Milton Icehawks Jr. A), Derek Graham (Belle Tire), Gabe Heller (CYA), Anthony Schooley (Honeybaked).


Bachman Top Pick in USHL Draft

With their #1 overall pick, the Chicago Steel have selected Cushing Academy goaltender Richard Bachman, a Colorado College recruit.

As the Steel lost both their goaltenders from this past season, it was a certainty that head coach Chris Imes would be picking a goalie.

A major trade in the first round involved a pair of top goalies and Cushing forward Brad Malone.

Sioux Falls Stampede traded goaltender Alex Kangas (and the first pick in the sixth round) to the Indiana Ice. In return, the Stampede got the rights to Malone (selected by Indiana in last August’s futures draft) plus Indiana’s first round pick (#5 overall). The Stampede then used that pick to select University of Maine sophomore goaltender Matt Lundin.

After almost leaving Maine last year, Lundin, an ‘86 from Apple Valley HS, returned for his sophomore year, hoping to get more time between the pipes after the early departure of Jimmy Howard, who signed with the Detroit Red Wings. However, it didn't work out that way for Lundin. Freshman Ben Bishop won the #1 goaltending position early in the year.  As a result, Lundin played in only 14 games – about 30 % of the goalies’ combined minutes – and posted an impressive 1.72 GAA and .934 save pct. Still, Bishop is solidly entrenched as the #1 guy, so Lundin decided to hit the road.  

In addition to Lundin, Sioux Falls is getting the rights to Malone, a 6'2", 205 lb. ‘89 forward from Miramichi, New Brunswick who, as a junior at Cushing this past season, put up a 9-34-43 scoring line.  The big winger also led Team Atlantic in the World Under-17 Challenge with four goals in five games.  Malone is the nephew of Pittsburgh Penguins LW Ryan Malone.

On paper, this looks like a very good trade for Sioux Falls. While Kangas had a great year, Lundin is a very good goalie, so that’s probably a slight upgrade. In addition, they pick up the rights to Malone -- basically for a sixth round pick. The fruits, no doubt, of having a strong season.


The USHL has a little PR embarrasment on their hands, as their web site crashed early in the draft. The web site is now back up. However, results will not be available until after the draft concludes.

First Round:

1. Chicago -- Richard Bachman, G, Cushing Academy
2. Waterloo -- Bill Maday, F, Chicago Chill
3. Sioux City -- Matt White, F, LA Jr. Kings
4. Columbus -- Toby Heaslip, D, New Jersey Hitmen (EJHL)
# Sioux Falls trades Alex Kangas and first pick in sixth round to Indiana for Brad Malone and first-round pick (5th overall)
5. Sioux Falls -- Matt Lundin, G, University of Maine -- from Indiana Ice
6. Green Bay -- Derrick LaPoint, D, Eau Claire (Wis.) HS
7. Indiana -- Eric Kattelus, F, Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL) -- from Tri-City Storm
8. Des Moines -- Kyle Bailey, F, Bozeman Icedogs (NAHL)
# Green Bay trades Mark Armstrong to Sioux City for Justin Cseter
9. Omaha -- Dennis Urban, D, Mahoning Valley Phantoms (NAHL)
# Sioux City trades Kyle Follmer to Waterloo for Joe Sova
10. Lincoln -- Matt Bartkowski, D, Pittsburgh Predators
# Waterloo trades Kyle Follmer to Columbus  for 4th round pick
11. Indiana -- Brent Gwidt, F, Team Wisconsin -- from Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
12. Sioux Falls -- Zach Hansen, D, White Bear Lake HS


Columbus Gets Green Light

The Columbus Junior Blue Jackets were officially approved by the USHL today and will begin play this fall at the 18,136 seat Nationwide Arena, the home of NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets,

The club, operated by Ohio Junior Hockey, Inc., will be owned by Tom Goebel, the Cleveland-based owner of Lakefront Bus Lines and the Cleveland Barons (NAHL).

“I’m excited for Ohio to have this level of hockey,” Goebel said. “The USHL is very successful at putting kids into college, and that’s what we’re in this for. I’m excited that the CCHA teams will be able to see the USHL so close to their footprint.”

Goebel still owns the Barons, who are preparing for the start of the NAHL Robertson Cup championship series, which starts a week from today. Goebel’s son, Patrick, is a defenseman with the Barons.

Even though the Barons are in the playoffs now, they will be in limbo at the conclusion of their final game. Goebel has been trying to find someone in the Cleveland area to take over the franchise, but so far has not had success. Parties who showed initial interest later backed out.

“We may ask for dormancy at the upcoming (NAHL) meeting,” Goebel said. That would give Goebel another season to come up with someone to take over the club. Ideally, he would like to see the team remain in Cleveland.

The Blue Jackets and president/general manager Doug MacLean will be in charge of game and arena operations for the junior club. MacLean has a son, Clark, who is currently a forward on the Barons.

Columbus will participate in the USHL draft Thursday. Don Harkins, the team’s director of hockey operations – he’ll also have a management role in the franchise – will oversee player selection.

Look for the Blue Jackets to name their head coach before the end of May.

Columbus, as a new USHL franchise, has been given four tenders (established USHL teams no longer utilize tenders) and will be going into the draft with four signees: forward Dan Dries, an ’88 from Victory Honda Midget Major; forward Tim Hall, a ’90 from the Pittsburgh Hornets Under-16s; forward Joel Lundstrom, an ’89 from the Pikes Peak Miners Midget Major; and goaltender Andrew Palmisano, an ’88 from Victory Honda Midget Major.  In addition, Columbus is allowed to place Barons players on their protected list and seven of them – Trent Bonnett, Bobby Jarosz, John Kennedy, Chris Reed, Eric Rex, Goebel, and MacLean – can be found there.

The four tenders and seven protected Barons give the Blue Jackets an 11-player protected list. All other USHL teams enter the draft with anywhere from 14-17 players on their protected list.


Buccaneers Win Clark Cup

One year removed from finishing with the worst record in the USHL, the Des Moines Buccaneers have won the USHL championship, topping the Sioux Falls Stampede 3-2 in a fifth and deciding game before a sellout crowd of 4,764 fans at Sioux Falls Arena last night.

Des Moines, under coach/GM Regg Simon, went 9-2 in the playoffs, sweeping Green Bay (3-0) and Cedar Rapids (3-0) before defeating Sioux Falls three games to two. It was Des Moines’ fourth Clark Cup, but first since the 1998-99 season.

Buccaneers forward Kyle Okposo was named the playoff’s MVP, having scored five goals, including a pair of game winners, and 11 assists for a total of 16 points in 11 games. Okposo, a Gopher recruit, was also named USHL Rookie of the Year as well as being named to the league’s first all-star team.

Last night, Colin Vock, Rich Purslow, and Ben Ryan scored for Des Moines, with Ryan’s goal turning out to be the game-winner, as the Notre Dame recruit scored an unassisted goal at 4:19 of the third period, breaking a 2-2 tie. Andreas Nodl and Drew Akins scored for the Stampede.

In net, the Bucs' Troy Davenport made 18 saves for the win, while the Stampede’s Alex Kangas kicked out 31 shots, but took the loss.